The Census Bureau says there are about 41 million renter households in the United States, a group making up about 35 percent of the country. And the renter ranks are expected to swell this decade as the housing demand of Baby Boomers and their children starts to converge. Twentysomethings who’ve been living at home during the recession will finally move out to form their own households. Many Baby Boomers, meanwhile, are expected to downsize into smaller rentals units where they won’t have to mow their own lawns.
Housing experts have projected that we may need to build at least 3 million new rental apartment units in the next 10 years to satisfy all these people. And if you’re a renter just about anywhere in the country, you may already be feeling the crunch: it’s lately become cheaper to buy a home than to rent one in the vast majority of America’s 100 largest metros.
This is a problem for young professionals and even decently paid ones trying to live close to jobs in expensive cities like New York and San Francisco. But America’s shortage of affordable rental housing trickles down with particularly depressing effects to the extremely low-income.
The Bipartisan Policy Center released a massive report recently on how we might restructure housing policy to better serve the country and brace against the kind of housing crash from which we’re still recovering.
In some markets, the report notes, strong competition for older units means that we may also wind up upgrading apartments once accessible to lower-income households with new amenities – expensive kitchen appliances, nicer bathrooms – that will only push those units permanently out of reach.
Another solution to this potential crisis is build to rent homes. Homes that are built for rental, not only boost the real estate market and help investors, but get construction companies back to work. To learn more about the build to rent home investment market, contact a member of the 9 Core Team.